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As Apple-Samsung trial winds down, judge's patience wears thin

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Vicki Behringer/Reuters

(Read caption) The patent trial between Apple and Samsung is winding down; both companies have asked for damages from each other. In this courtroom sketch, Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny (center) examines Apple design chief Scott Forstall as US District Judge Lucy Koh looks on.

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The biggest trial in tech is drawing to a close: Samsung rested its case on Thursday, asking that Apple pay up to $421.8 million if things are settled in Samsung's favor. Samsung's claiming that Apple ripped it off on three patents relating to email, photos, and music -- although the bulk of the case revolves around Apple's claims that Samsung infringed on its intellectual property.

Samsung's damages request pales in comparison to what Apple is seeking against Samsung: $2.45 billion in lost profits for all the Samsung hardware it claims infringes on its patents. US patent law states that a patent owner is entitled to all the profits that an infringer gets -- and Apple is seeking damages for a pretty wide range of products, including many models in the Galaxy line of smart phones and its Galaxy Tab tablets, alleging that Samsung copied its design on these devices. Samsung, of course, says it did no such thing and alleges that several of Apple's patents are invalid.

Patience is wearing a bit thin at this point: on Thursday Apple's lawyers presented a 75-page document relating to more than 20 witnesses they might want to call to rebut Samsung's claims. Judge Lucy Koh responded: "Unless you're smoking crack you know these witnesses aren't going to be called!" (The attorneys agreed to pare down the list, but not before attorney William Lee assured Judge Koh that drugs were not, in fact, involved in the request.) Later in the day Koh chided Samsung for spending too much time cross-examining Apple's witnesses instead of building its own case.


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